Back-updating – Lois was here!

Lois was here a few weekends ago, and it was SO fun! I took off early on Thursday (Dec 11) and all day Friday (Dec 12) to hang out with her. Mike Walsh was still in town (partially on purpose in order to see Lois), and we also got to hang out with Adam too. The whole gang was together again! I don’t know when that will happen again, since Walsh is moving to California soon and we’ll be spread out over 3 different states. We crammed in as much as possible while Lois was here, getting almost no sleep but taking lots of pictures! I posted more pictures online on Facebook, but here are some of my favorites which help highlight our time together…

On Thursday, Lois flew in and Walsh and I picked her up from the airport. We went inside to greet her and met each other at the top of an escalator. We hugged a lot, and I told her that I had no intention of letting her leave to go back home, ever.

On Friday, Lois and I went downtown to go ice skating at the rink by the National Gallery of Art’s sculpture Garden. I’ve been ice skating before, and so had Lois, but it has been a loooooong time. Needless to say, we both started off a little slow, but we got the hang of it. This photo shows us both trying to keep our balance:

 

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“The Sculpture Garden” is a loose term, as there are a ton of sculptures throughout a very wide geographical area. This fountain was not an actual “fountain” in that it didn’t hold water. The blue on the bottom was made up of bright blue, semi-transparent rocks. The part up top was made out of white-spray-painted twig-thingies, and the whole thing was sort of a permanent winter fixture. It was so pretty!

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As Lois and I walked downtown, we came across this hideous statue. I channeled my inner “America’s Next Top Model” to invoke this angry stance. When I imagine a 15-foot-wide spider, it’s easy to look outraged.

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Here’s a fun story where Lois got in trouble! This sign sat about 15-20 feet away from the above spider statue. It’s tiny, and not at all obvious or apparent to the casual passerby (like us). As we rounded the corner and saw this spider monstrosity, Lois ran up to the spider and hugged it. A woman working in the Gallery (inside) came running outside (yes, RUNNING) and yelled (yes, YELLED) at Lois, “Don’t touch that spider! There’s a sign!!! …blah blah…” Now, at that very moment, I had stumbled upon the sign and called out to Lois “Don’t touch it!” but it was too late. She was already being chastised by a very angry middle-aged woman in a security uniform. I told the lady “It’s ok, we just saw the sign. We won’t touch it again” – but she just kept on yelling and carrying on as though we tried to spray the thing with Raid…

You know that story, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”? Well… “If You Give a Woman a Security Uniform and Night Stick…” Ummm, yeah…

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Lois, at my suggestion, being snarky:

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Mike got off work early and metro’d up to meet us downtown. We decided to go to the National Zoo, so we hopped on the Orange line toward Vienna, switched to the Red line toward Shady Grove at Metro Center, and rode up to Woodley Park to walk the mile or so to the zoo. I love the zoo – it has at least 3 different species of bears there, one of which I got friendly with:

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This is post-zoo – we were the last people out of the zoo before it closed to the public. Our entire time there had been very cool, because we were almost the only people there, and got to wander, and run, and do whatever throughout the entire thing. By the time we left, it was dark.

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That night, we made our own pizzas for dinner. Adam came by and ate with us, and we went to bed really late.

The next day, we (Mike, me, Walsh, and Lois) met Adam at his house and drove into town. First, we went to Eastern Market where I took absolutely no pictures (I know, I’m lame) partly because it was soooo cold and taking pictures means taking your gloves off!

We ate at a cute local mediterranean place near the metro and made friends with our waitress. She joined us as we all ragged on Adam, as usual. Good woman. 🙂

Then we headed up to the National Cathedral. Unfortunately, the main level was closed and public tours were suspended due to a tickets-only concert that day. We still got to explore some of it, though.

 

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I love this picture of Lois! (Except my red-eye thing wouldn’t work)

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The main level was closed to the public, but visitors were allowed in to the bookstore/gift shop (which makes me think of Jesus tipping the merchants’ tables in the Temple, but whatever), and the store has multiple exits which lead to some inner hallways of the massive cathedral. We snuck off to explore, figuring someone would stop us if we went too far.

Somehow, Walsh and I ended up together and found a spiral staircase that was very narrow and kind of dark. Neither of us could resist a little adventure, so we started up the staircase to see where it led. We got to a landing where a wrought iron gate marked off another spiral staircase. A sign said “Thou Shalt Not Enter. Thank You. -Management” but the gate was unlocked. Walsh and I looked at each other, smiled, and opened the gate. We started up those stairs, and it got darker and darker. But it seemed the music that had been piped into the gift shop speakers was getting louder. We pulled out our cell phones for light and kept climbing. We finally reached the top, and realized it had led us to an attic-level storage area/crawl space behind one of the window openings which looked down on the main cathedral sanctuary. No glass, nothing – we could see straight down and saw (and heard) the concert! There were hundreds of people sitting in the pews and a dozen or more choir members singing in a circle facing each other (this is a choral technique used to blend the sound and remove attention from any one choir member). So Walsh and I huddled behind cobweb-y boxes and whispered and laughed as we peered over the boxes out the window, taking in the concert and trying not to get spotted. We finally headed down so that the others wouldn’t wonder where we were. Troublemakers we are, Walsh and me. Troublemakers.

🙂

This is out in the gardens of the Cathedral:

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Mike helped me climb up onto this wall, then walked away as I scurried up the rest of the way. This photo looks like he’s saying “What? I have no idea how she ended up there…”

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That night, we went to see the Monuments downtown since they’re really pretty all lit up. It was so cold that we ended up barely making it to any, and got precious few pictures (remember – gloves!), but I do like this picture of Lois and I hugging for warmth:

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It was so nice to have Lois here and for her to see our new place. One night we had the chance for just her and me to pray together, and the time was just GOOD. It was quiet and calm and very… good. It felt like home.

Lois practically had to threaten us to actually take her back to the airport to abandon us, but she promised to visit again (with Grant this time).

Next blog (coming soon) = Christmas and the Icardis!!!

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